By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety, South Georgia Medical Center has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of ApprovalTM. The Joint Commission conducted an unannounced, on-site evaluation of SGMC earlier this year. The accreditation award recognizes SGMC’s dedication to complying with the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals and quality of care standards on a continuous basis.”We seek accreditation for our organization because we want to demonstrate our commitment to patient safety and quality of care,” says CEO James McGahee. “Because the survey is unannounced, we have to know the accreditation standards, practice the standards and operate in a continued state of readiness 365-days a year. We view obtaining Joint Commission accreditation as another step toward achieving organizational excellence.”During the rigorous, week-long survey, SGMC’s affiliated physicians, clinical and ancillary staff performed with knowledge and understanding of patient rights, life safety, quality of care processes and hospital policies and procedures. “I couldn’t be more proud of our staff,” said Administrator Randy Sauls. “Despite the fact that we were experiencing a high patient census during the survey, staff openly participated in the tracers and explained policies, described processes and demonstrated procedures to validate the high quality of care that we strive to deliver.”According to the Joint Commission, ongoing compliance with the Joint Commission’s over 2000 standards results in sound management practices and the day-to-day delivery of safe, high-quality, state-of-the-art care.”Above all, the national standards are intended to stimulate continuous, systematic and organization-wide improvement in an organization’s performance and the outcomes of care,” says Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S, executive director, Hospital Programs, Accreditation and Certification Services, The Joint Commission. “The community should be proud that SGMC is focusing on the most challenging goal-to continuously raise quality and safety to higher levels.”Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of health care accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 8,000 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,800 other health care organizations that provide long term care, assisted living, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated delivery networks, and other managed care entities. In addition, The Joint Commission provides certification of disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.